It’s official. Lucknow will host the 11th Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup from December 8-18 at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium here.
In its January 19 edition, HT had carried a report titled ‘Lucknow likely to host Junior World Cup’.
After a meeting with Hockey India chief Narinder Batra on Sunday, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav assured his government’s support to the event, which is set to see top-16 teams of the world in action. Elena Norman, chief executive officer of Hockey India, and UP Hockey secretary RP Singh were also present on the occasion.
“It’s a great achievement for Uttar Pradesh as well as for Hockey India that one of the top world events is taking place here,” Batra told HT soon after his meeting with the CM.
“I have been assured of all possible support from the government and I am sure that we will have the required additional facilities at the venue for the event,” he added.
“UP has produced a number of hockey greats and HI would like to revive the glory of the game through this event.”
Besides hosts India, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Egypt, New Zealand, Pakistani, South Africa and Spain will be in action. The matches will be shown live in over 100 countries.
“Till date, no world championship in any sport has taken place in the state, and it’s a big honour for us,” UP Hockey secretary RP Singh said, adding, “We still have five months to do the preparations and it would be done accordingly.”
Since 2012, UP Hockey has been conducting major domestic events and Hockey India League matches successfully. It has conducted four national events, including two for the seniors. Before hosting HIL matches here, the city had witnessed the world’s top teams in action during the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup thrice between 1989 and 1991.
For conducting the event, the venue will need another (floodlit) field adjacent to the Dhyanchand Stadium as it is mandatory to have two astro-turfs for a big event.